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Debunking the Myth of the Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance – are they opposites, sitting at the extreme sides of the spectrum? Do we have to choose only one at a time? I love how Fitz Villafuerte puts it:

There is no such thing as work-life balance. There is only life.

I have written several posts inspired by Fitz Villafuerte’s podcast, The 80 Percent. This post is just another post heavily roused by his thoughts

The quest for work-life balance

We have been told to balance work and leisure as if they are mutually exclusive from each other. This thinking leads us to believe that work is always tedious and far from enjoyable. With this, we see work only as a means to acquire money for our needs and to finance our functions. 

But what is the purpose of work? Scripturally, it serves as an expression of worship. We exert our energies, creativity, and our passion in whatever we do. In return for our effort, we receive remuneration. Our work is a means for us to develop our physical and intellectual prowess and to engage in meaningful partnerships with others. It’s more than just sweating ourselves out.

Unfortunately for most of us, we sometimes get to the grueling point of considering our work as unenjoyable and unwanted – if not for the remuneration. So we wanted out – or at least take a break. And that break we call life.

Seasons sans work = life?

I can’t imagine life without work. Not because I am a workaholic. God knows how at times, I drag myself to the office or even in front of my laptop. But I can’t imagine life apart from my work because I know it is a gift where I express myself best. 

If you’ve heard of the word entropy, it means an amount of energy unavailable for valuable work. Entropy is also related to degradation and aging. A muscle not put to work will end up weaker and weaker over time. 

In the context of work-life balance, what is life, then? 

If life, as we call it, is about enjoyment and finding satisfaction, then it is possible to land a job that we find both enjoyable and satisfying. There is a privilege at play here, and not everyone is privileged enough to have these two meet. But at least we can try to find joy and satisfaction in our work and so blur the lines between the work-life dichotomy.

Because, as mentioned, there is no such thing as work-life balance. There is only life.

I find this mindset liberating. We don’t have to run after the elusive work-life balance because there is nothing to chase. Look instead for things that you enjoy, spend time doing them, and if you can find that joy, challenge, and satisfaction in your line of work, then be it! If you have a healthy work environment, then it’s a plus! 

Focus on achieving a life of purpose. We don’t have to escape work to consider ourselves alive. They may go well together. Stop the chase. 

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13 thoughts on “Debunking the Myth of the Work-Life Balance

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